Wednesday, June 30, 2010

5 Ways to Promote Your Book Using Social Media--by Louise Baker

Social media can be used to promote just about anything, from a fashion show to a big sale at a large department store. For those who don't know what social media is, the term refers to any web-based technology that promotes interaction between users. Two of the most popular social media sites are Facebook and Twitter, but there are hundreds of social media sites out there. Here are five ways to use social media to promote your book. 1) Facebook Events Use the events feature on Facebook to let your friends know when you will be doing book signings, readings or other events. You can set the event up on Facebook and invite all of your Facebook friends. 2) Have a Giveaway One good way to generate publicity for just about anything is to have a giveaway using social media. The giveaway starts with a post on your blog. Write up a description of the item you are giving away, along with the rules for entering. An autographed copy of your book would make a nice giveaway item. In the rules, give people multiple ways to enter. For example, you could state that they get one entry for commenting on your blog with the reason they want to win, one entry for tweeting about your giveaway on Twitter and one entry for posting the giveaway on Facebook and becoming your friend. For entries submitted on other sites, you should require the person to post a comment on your blog saying that they tweeted, or whatever the requirement was. That way, you don't have to go searching on Twitter to find out who entered. All of the entries will be right on your blog. 3) Give Sneak Peaks Leaking a free chapter or two to your Facebook friends in downloadable form can really get them interested in reading the rest of your book. Before you try this, make sure it is all right with your publisher. Make sure to give your readers enough to get them hooked on your book (say, two to three chapters) but not so much that they feel like they no longer need to purchase the book itself. It is best to time this promotion with the release of the book so that your fans will be able to buy it right away if they like it. 4) Trivia Contest After your book is released, why not have a Twitter trivia contest? You could tweet questions about your new book and offer promotional items such as bookmarks or book bags as prizes to the first person who tweets back with the correct answer. 5) Social Bookmarking Use social bookmarking sites such as Digg and Stumbleupon to bookmark new posts on your blog. Be careful with this, though. Some of these sites don't like it if you bookmark every single post. However, whenever you write a post that is particularly useful or insightful, don't hesitate to toot your own horn by linking to it on these sites. These are just a few of the many ways you can use social bookmarking to promote your book online. Keep on the lookout for other sites that offer the chance for authors to interact with readers and try to think of ways you can use them to increase awareness of your book and find new fans.
Louise Baker writes for the Zen College Life directory of online schools. She most recently ranked the best online colleges. ************************************************ Thanks, Louise! Hope y'all will check in tomorrow when Deborah Sharp guest blogs for me. :) My July 6th release is right around the corner. Click here for my book release contest. Entering is easy...and you might win a $25 bookstore gift card, a signed copy of "Delicious and Suspicious," and a "Delicious and Suspicious" tote bag. :)